Thanks to pandemic, the already fragile work-life balance has gone for a toss. We sit on our beds munching on unhealthy snacks during team calls and respond to emails while half- listening to sports commentary.
The WHF phenomenon has blurred our physical and intellectual boundaries causing acute identity chaos. It’s much like when you spray yourself with a different perfume when the previous one has not faded. You smell like a cocktail of fragrances, a situation where both the fragrances exist but are adulterated due to the presence of the other; not being true to its essence. Often, we can catch ourselves caught in this dilemma: Am I supposed to be the good student listening to the Professor or a good friend and respond to the zoom private text?
How do we create the barrier that will provide mental buffer to us? How do ease our mental transformation from one role to the other?
Do not worry, we have you covered. I have four actionable steps that you can use to build control over your environment.
1. Set-up Different Physical Stations for Work, Leisure and Reflection. When we commuted to work, the change of location signalled the brain to prepare for what is to come. Through the conscious use of designated places for select activities we are recreating the same distinction. It does not have be a big office with a Mahogany desk and a splendid view, an exclusive work- desk will suffice.
2. Set-up Different Computer Stations. Aren’t we all guilt of having kept multiple tabs of social media sites, random blogs and Slack opened simultaneously on our systems? Once again, such activities confuse your brain and exerts tremendous pressure on it. It becomes highly taxing for the brain to get back to whatever it is that it was doing earlier. So, set-up different accounts and designate them for work and leisure. Under each account, keep only relevant accounts and email IDs logged in.
3. Know your sleep-wake rhythm. We all function at different levels of productivity through out the day. This varies inter-individually and intra-individually. In a paper, make a note of your functioning capacity at different times of the day under the labels: Best, Optimal, Sub-Optimal and Please Recharge Now. This will help you plan your day better and set yourself up for a successful day ahead. For instance, I study logically heavy subjects such as Maths in the morning when I am at my Best. Plan logically and intellectually demanding activities at your Best and Optimal and leave mundane logistical tasks such as emails and calls for the sub-optimal.
4. Prepare A Nay List. Make a list of all the activities that you do not want to engage in throughout the day and stick it as a post it note next to your bed. This will ensure that you are constantly reminded of your goals and not-to-dos.
These are some of the techniques that can help you in being more deliberate in your efforts to seek control of your life.